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Ion V. Ivaciuc
Ion Sumanariu Ivanciuc
Born (1875-06-14)June 14, 1875
Fălticeni, Romania
Died May 5, 1928(1928-05-05) (aged 52)
Pen name I. Dragoslav, Ion Dragoslav
Occupation short story writer, poet, journalist
Period 1890-1954
Genre children's literature, fantasy, mythopoeia, lyric poetry, memoir, novella, sketch story
Literary movement Sămănătorul, Covorbiri Critice, Sburătorul

I. Dragoslav or Ion Dragoslav ([needs stress]), pen names of Ion V. Ivaciuc or Ion Sumanariu Ivanciuc ( June 14, 1875 – May 5, 1928), was a Romanian writer. His presence on the local literary scene meant successive affiliations with various competing venues: having debuted with the traditionalist and nationalist magazine Sămănătorul, he later connected the eclectically conservative Convorbiri Critice group of Mihail Dragomirescu with the Romanian Symbolist movement leaders Alexandru Macedonski and Ion Minulescu, before moving close to the modernist trend of Eugen Lovinescu and his Sburătorul.

Noted for his contributions to fantasy, children's literature and memoir, Dragoslav defied inclusion in the genres illustrated by his public commitments. His work, often described as picturesque but mediocre, is primarily indebted to Ion Creangă, through him, to folkloric tradition.


A native of Fălticeni to a peasant family, Ivaciuc-Dragoslav completed his secondary studies in the city, where he was in the same class as future writers Lovinescu and Mihail Sadoveanu. Largely an autodidact, he made his debut in writing in 1903, when his contribution was hosted by the leading traditionalist venue, Sămănătorul. He is known to have been studying Letters and Law at the University of Bucharest during 1904. During those years, he published his first volumes, the lyric poetry collection Pe drumul pribegiei ("On the Path of Wanderers"), followed by the short story volumes Facerea lumiii ("The Origin of the World") and La han la Trei ulcele ("At the Three Pitcher Inn").

I. Dragoslav's works made an impression on two rival literary men, Mihail Dragomirescu and Alexandru Macedonski. As he himself recalled in a 1920 article, he found an early mentor in Macedonski, who guided his early literary career and provided him with advice upon their first meeting in Bucharest. Also before 1910, Dragoslav began contributing to Covorbiri Critice magazine and attending its club, which Dragomirescu was hosting at his Bucharest home. Previously a follower of the conservative literary society Junimea, Dragomirescu had been directing his efforts toward assembling together some of his former colleagues, alongside writers from traditionalist and Neo-romantic groups like Făt Frumos (Emil Gârleanu, Anastasie Mândru, Corneliu Moldovanu and D. Nanu among them), and more eclectic ones—Panait Cerna, Gheorghe Vâlsan, as well as Dragoslav himself. In addition to these authors, people who frequented Dragomirescu's circle before its 1910 disestablishment included Symbolist figures (Minulescu, Dimitrie Anghel, Al. T. Stamatiad) or writers of various other orientations (Cincinat Pavelescu, Liviu Rebreanu), joined by visual artists Iosif Iser, Costin Petrescu and George Talaz. The eclectic circle became a post-Junimist venue and a center of opposition to Sămănătorul, but, according to literary historian Z. Ornea, failed to impose the "new literary school" imagined by Dragomirescu.

Dragoslav was still living mostly in Fălticeni, where, according to literary historian George Călinescu, he lived the life of a bohemian and treasured the drinking culture, profiting from the fact that a relative of his was a tavern owner. He was a regular presence at the pub La Plosca Verde ("At the Green Wineskin") in Iași. Călinescu also notes that, although he boasted a rustic lifestyle, Dragoslav's townhouse was "far from a miserable mud hut", and that Dragoslav raised ducks, geese and pigs. Dragoslav made frequent trips outside Fălticeni "with a giant satchel of manuscripts", seeking out fellow writers and addressing them, coarsely, as măi frate-miu ("brother o' mine").

Dragoslav pursued a diverse activity in the literary press, and also published his work in, among others, Făt Frumos, Flacăra, Luceafărul, Ramuri, Universul daily and Viața Literară. In 1909, having published Fata popei ("The Priest's Daughter") and Povestea copilăriei ("The Story of Childhood"), he joined the Romanian Writers' Society, a professional association founded by Anghel, Gârleanu and Pavelescu in 1908. In 1910, he put out the collections Novele ("Novellas") and Povestiri alese ("Selected Stories"), followed in 1911 by Povestea trăznetului ("The Story of Thunder").

For a while in 1912, Dragoslav was affiliated with the Symbolist and modernist venue Insula, edited by Ion Minulescu. According to critic Paul Cernat, Dragoslav was by then "a dissident Sămănătorist", and, with Constantin Beldie, the only person from the Insula group not to have been a Symbolist. That same year, the writer was among those who welcomed Macedonski back from his extended trip to France (itself caused by literary scandals). He viewed the event as an opportunity for restoring Macedonski's prestige, and, in a Rampa article, stated: " 'Macedonski has arrived'; this word is on everyone's lips and sounds as if the man has risen from the dead." Together with Stamatiad and Mândru, Dragoslav was instrumental in bridging the gap between Macedonski's Literatorul and Convorbiri Literare, successfully urging Dragomirescu to give his colleague a positive review.

His volumes followed each other in quick succession: Flori și povești ("Flowers and Stories") in 1911; Volintirii ("The Volunteers") and Împăratul Rogojină ("Emperor Doormat") in 1912; Povești de sărbători ("Holiday Stories") in 1913; Povești de Crăciun ("Christmas Stories"), in 1914. In 1915, he put out the selected stories volumes Sărăcuțul ("Poor Little Fella"). Several of these books saw print in Orăștie, a town then outside the Kingdom of Romania, in Austro-Hungarian-ruled Transylvania.

At an early stage of World War I, when Romania had not yet joined up with the Entente, Dragoslav affiliated with Libertatea, a gazette put out by the controversial agitator and Symbolist poet Alexandru Bogdan-Pitești, which campaigned in favor of the Central Powers and was reportedly financed by the German Empire. However, as the Central Powers occupied the Romanian south and the Romanian front drew close to Fălticeni, Dragoslav reportedly spend much time at the local high school, reading to wounded soldiers.

During the early interwar period, Dragoslav affiliated with Eugen Lovinescu's Sburătorul modernist club, and, in 1921, put out his definitive selection of novellas and sketch stories. By the 1920s, he had fallen severely ill with a disease of the liver, argued by Călinescu to have been the result of binge drinking. He was hospitalized for ascites, and his peritoneal cavity was drained of over 6 liters of bodily fluid. He was again hospitalized at the Colțea Hospital, in the care of physician Ioan Nanu-Musceleanu, but died soon afterward in Fălticeni.

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